Flying with RLS

I wondered if anyone with RLS has taken a long plane journey. I am particularly interested if your RLS if affected by how hot your legs are. Mine are, but not totally, but the RLS kicking always starts if my legs get warm and a cooler I use does reduce the frequency. However, it's a proverbial pain trying to transport the cooler, (consisting of a cooling machine and circulation mattress, together with an extension and adaptor), to the destination. It was difficult trying to sort things out for a cruise, all I wanted was official permission to take the contraption on the ship.

Soon I am going to have to take a long trip (at least 10 hours). The plane won't have any socket for me to plug the cooler into so I can try an sleep. I wonder what the authorities in America are like. I have never been to the USA and have been told that they can treat us Brits as "terrorists".

If anyone knows of any way I can cool my legs down on a long flight without needing a socket to link to electricity could you let me know? Alternatively, if you know of any contraption that works like a cool gel pad, but does not retain the heat, I'd be grateful.

Thanks, Lindy14

12 Replies

  • Lindy I have been many times on long haul flights & its sheer hell with restless legs unless you can have some form of strong pain killer together with your regular medication. Avoid alcohol & caffeine & drink plenty of water before, during & after the flight.

    The only coolants I know come in spray form & would not be allowed through security. Maybe there are gels..speak to your pharmacist. I know there are first aid packs that go cold when they are activated but may not be big enough.

  • I first tried kratom because I live on the East Coast in the U.S. and my younger daughter had just moved to Hawaii--a 12 hour flight. I think kratom is not legal in the UK now, but it is legal in most places in the U.S. I find a tsp. of kratom (double my usual dose) every two hours gets me through long flights without any discomfort.

    As far as plugs on planes, I've found that even when there are plugs often they don't work, so I don't think you'll be able to count on a working plug. I'm sorry, because I think RLS is always worse on an airplane. I think it has something to do with the amount of oxygen you get, but I'm not sure.

  • Thanks for your information, March. I guessed that it would be impossible to get access to a plug, but it was worth a try. As I'm sure you can guess, I don't fly very much, just when going on holiday. Also, I've not flown since all this terrorist trouble so I was still under the impression that we were still friends with our American neighbours.

    This page is very good for people needing information from fellow sufferers who've experienced something they are going to encounter.

    Thanks, Lindy

  • There are lots of cooling leg gels available just Google it but remember to put it into small containers if going in your hand luggage as I had a pot of sun tan cream confiscated by customs as it was too large. The important thing if you take meds is the timing of them before the flight Try for an aisle seat. If you put flying in the search box old post will come up with tips on dealing with travelling by plane. Enjoy your trip. .,Pippins2 x

  • Once again, Pippin you come to assistance of a RLS sufferer. Your range of knowledge seems to know no boundaries. Those practical tips about cooling gel and seating arrangements are useful and luckily we've booked two seats, one of which is an aisle seat.

    I'll have a look at tips on dealing with travelling by plane. I've got some pots that I can use for any useful potions.

    All hubby and I are trying to do is celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary! Us RLS sufferers including partners are really put through the mill, as though we've done something that is a great sin! I must admit my husbad is the one who is most directly suffering from my RLS.

    Anyway, I'll try the Halcyon bracelets and let you all know how I get on.

    Once again, thanks for all your info.


  • Pippens is absolutely NEED an aisle seat❣

  • I wonder if you brought some magnesium salt ( bittersalts) and made a magnesium / water mix on the plane using water from the pantry. I make it up half and half in a bottle and rub it on my legs for relief. It may sting a little bit - so try it at home first.

    This should bypass legally the security people. You only need a small amount for a ten hr trip. All the best.

  • Hi Madlegs,

    I'll get some Magnesium to see what sort of effect it has as a paste. I did try baths, but they never worked for me, but it will be worth having a try with it as a paste. It's worth a go,



  • Hi - what I am suggesting is not a paste but more a water soltion. Some people put the mix into a spray bottle and spray it on rather than rub it on. These ' sprays' can be purchased commercially with all sorts of additives. The recipe I've given you is cheap and effective. My daughter used it to great effect when she was pregnant.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for putting me right. It would be worth giving it another try 'cos it can't do any harm. I'll have a go before we're off on flight.


  • We always pay extra for extra leg room. We book the two seats at the front of the plane. It does help and is worth every penny, as I think it would make matters worse if you are confined in a normal seat. Hope you find a solution.

  • Thanks Smiler,

    I appreciate any ideas people have. This is truly where "self-help treatment" really lives up to its name.

    Once again, thanks for your advice,


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